In Harm's Way

In Harm's Way

name = In Harm's Way

caption = film poster by Saul Bass
director = Otto Preminger
producer = Otto Preminger
writer = James Bassett
Wendell Mayes
starring = John Wayne
Kirk Douglas
Patricia Neal
Tom Tryon
Paula Prentiss
Brandon De Wilde
Dana Andrews
Burgess Meredith
Henry Fonda
Franchot Tone
Barbara Bouchet
movie_music = Jerry Goldsmith
distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = April 6, 1965
runtime = 165 min
language = English
imdb_id = 0059309
music =
awards =
budget =
:"In Harm's Way is also the name of the first regular episode of the fan film series.

"In Harm's Way" is a 1965 epic film starring John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Tom Tryon, Paula Prentiss, Brandon De Wilde, Jill Haworth, Burgess Meredith, and Henry Fonda, produced and directed by Otto Preminger, and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The screenplay was written by Wendell Mayes based on the novel by James Bassett. The movie dramatically recounts the lives of several naval officers, their wives or their love interests while based out of Hawaii as the US involvement in World War II begins. The title of the film is taken from a quote from American Revolutionary naval hero John Paul Jones: "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way."


John Wayne stars as U.S. Navy Captain Rockwell "Rock" Torrey, a divorced "second generation Navy" son of a Chief Petty Officer and an Annapolis graduate career officer, who is removed from command of his cruiser for "throwing away the book" when pursuing the enemy and then being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. After several months of desk duty ashore and recuperation from a broken arm he suffered in the attack on his cruiser, he is promoted to Rear Admiral and given a crucial mission requiring the same sort of guts and gallantry. Though it makes use of the same heroic persona that Wayne displayed in his Westerns, this persona is very much restrained under Otto Preminger's direction. We learn more of the character's human qualities: his estrangement from his son, an Ensign in the Naval Reserve (played by Brandon De Wilde), and his romance with a Navy Nurse Corps Lieutenant (played by Patricia Neal), which brings out his yearning for a stable emotional anchor in his life. The Wayne/Neal relationship forms the emotional crux of the movie, and the two stars give sensitive performances.

There are sub-plots involving characters played by Kirk Douglas and Tom Tryon, who offer differing portraits of two other career naval officers associated with Wayne's command. Douglas portrays Commander, later Captain, Paul Eddington, a wayward sort of career officer who has resigned as a Naval Aviator and returned to the Surface Navy because of an unhappy marriage. Tryon portrays Lieutenant, junior grade, later Lieutenant and Lieutenant Commander William "Mack" McConnell, a conventional type of young officer only a few years removed from the Naval Academy, with a characteristic Navy wife (played by Paula Prentiss) who is ever solicitous and faithful.

The film presents an unglorified and realistic picture of the American Navy and its officers, and its sprawling narrative is typical of Preminger's works in which he examined institutions and the people who run them (such as the American Congress and the Presidency in "Advise and Consent", the Catholic Church in "The Cardinal" and the British Intelligence Service in "The Human Factor").

Background and production

Many believe Wayne's underplayed performance was due to the fact that he was seriously ill with lung cancer when the film was made. Shortly after filming ended in August 1964 he was diagnosed with the disease, and a month later underwent surgery to remove his entire left lung and two ribs. Co-star Franchot Tone was soon to develop lung cancer and died of the disease in September 1968.

The film was shot in black-and-white by Loyal Griggs, who composed his scenes in the scope format often using deep focus (Griggs was nominated for a Best Cinematographer Academy Award for his work). Jerry Goldsmith's musical score is also notable, as is the work of Saul Bass in the credit titles sequence (this sequence actually comes at the very end of the film, an interesting departure from the norm in a major Hollywood production at the time).

The film received extensive cooperation from the US Navy. This included the use of the USS|Saint Paul|CA-73|6 in the role of the "straw bottom cruiser" referred to only as the "old swayback" and an accompanying destroyer, USS|Philip|DD-498, that took on the role USS "Cassiday". Other US Navy ships that participated include destroyers USS|Braine|DD-630|6, USS|O'Bannon|DD-450|6, USS "Philip", USS|Renshaw|DD-499|6, USS|Walker|DD-517|6, submarine USS|Capitaine|SS-336|6 and attack transport USS|Renville|APA-227|6. The climactic battle with the Japanese fleet was staged mostly with model ships. Kirk Douglas thought the special effects poor and complained bitterly to both the director and the studio and offered to restage the scenes at his own expense using the special effects people who worked with him on Paths of Glory.Fact|date=February 2008


*Nominated for the 1965 Academy Award for Cinematography (Black-and-White) []


*John Wayne as Captain Rockwell W. "Rock" Torrey USN, CO of "Old Swayback"; afterwards Rear Admiral Rockwell W. Torrey, USN, "operational commander" of "Operation Skyhook."
*Kirk Douglas as Commander Paul Eddington, USN, executive officer of "Old Swayback"; afterwards Captain Paul Eddington, Admiral Torrey's first Chief of Staff
*Patricia Neal as Lieutenant Maggie Haines, Nurse Corps, USNR, a Navy nurse and Rock Torrey's love interest
*Tom Tryon as Lieutenant (jg) William McConnell, USN, appearing first as Officer of the Deck aboard the USS "Cassidy"; afterwards Lieutenant then Lieutenant Commander William McConnell, Flag Secretary in Admiral Torrey's command
*Paula Prentiss as Beverly McConnell, his wife, who works briefly as a sky watcher near Pearl Harbor
*Brandon De Wilde as Ensign (later Lieutenant, junior grade) Jeremiah Torrey, USNR, Rock Torrey's estranged son
*Jill Haworth as Ensign Annalee Dohrn, Ensign, Nurse Corps, USNR, Navy nurse, Maggie Haines' roommate, and Jeremiah Torrey's girlfriend
*Burgess Meredith as Commander Egan T. Powell, USNR, Admiral Torrey's Intelligence Officer
*Barbara Bouchet as Liz Eddington, Paul Eddington's faithless wife (who is killed in an automobile accident with an Army Air Corps officer she previously seduced while fleeing a strafing run by Japanese planes in the attack on Pearl Harbor)
*Patrick O'Neal as Commander (and former United States Congressman) Neal Owynn, USNR, Admiral Broderick's Public Affairs Officer and briefly, liaison between Admirals Broderick and Torrey
*Stanley Holloway as Clayton Canfil, an Australian former planter who runs a system of native coast watchers on the island of Gavabutu and later undertakes a hazardous reconnaissance of the target island of Levu-Vana
*Dana Andrews as Vice Admiral B. T. "Blackjack" Broderick, USN, Area Commander, Southwest Pacific Area Three
*Franchot Tone as Admiral Husband Kimmel, USN (listed as "CINCPAC I"), Commander-in-Chief Pacific during the attack on Pearl Harbor
*Henry Fonda as Admiral Chester Nimitz, USN (listed as "CINCPAC II"), Commander-in-Chief Pacific during the rest of the war
*Slim Pickens as Chief Petty Officer Culpeper, USN, chief boatswain's mate aboard USS "Cassidy" (who later proclaims then-LT McConnell "the best officer to be marooned on a desert island with")
*Carroll O'Connor as Commander, later Captain Burke; initially the Operations Officer of Captain Torrey's cruiser, the "Old Swayback", and later her Commanding Officer when Rear Admiral Torrey returns, making "Old Swayback" his flagship
*James Mitchum, the son of Robert Mitchum, as Ensign Griggs, USN, a young engineering officer aboard "Old Swayback"
*George Kennedy as Lieutenant Colonel Gregory, USMC, commanding a parachute-capable Marine Corps battalion
*Larry Hagman as Lieutenant (jg) Cline, USN, Communications Officer aboard the USS "Cassidy"
*Hugh O'Brian (uncredited) as an Army Air Corps Major who is Liz Eddington's lover
*Jerry Goldsmith (uncredited) as the piano player

External links

*imdb title|id=0059309|title=In Harm's Way
*tcmdb title|id=4651|title=In Harm's Way

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • harm's way — a dangerous place or situation As a war correspondent, she never hesitated to put herself in harm s way. The soldiers were sent into harm s way. The tug towed the sailboat out of harm s way. • • • Main Entry: ↑harm harm s way see ↑harm, 1 …   Useful english dictionary

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  • harm's way — noun Date: 1631 a dangerous place or situation < was placed in harm s way > < got them out of harm s way > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • out of harm's way — phrasal : in a safe place : remote from sources of injury a loudspeaker set high out of harm s way Evelyn Waugh * * * out of harm s way In a safe place • • • Main Entry: ↑harm * * * out of harm’s way phrase in a safe place, so that nothing bad… …   Useful english dictionary

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  • out of harm's way —    If you put something out of harm s way, you put it in a safe place where it won t be damaged.     I m going to put this glass bowl out of harm s way so that it doesn t get broken …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

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